Call the Cops - Episode 1

Documentary which takes a forensic look at the history of the police procedural on British TV and investigates what it was about the police, society and television that saw the archetypal policeman change from the avuncular Dixon of Dock Green to the maverick thief-taker of The Sweeney to the scientific methodologists of Cracker, Silent Witness and Waking the Dead. By interviewing writers, directors, producers and former officers, the film combs the land between police reality and police television. Brian Paddick states that the level of violence used in The Sweeney would have been justified by the law at the time under 'reasonable force', while Jane Tennison's real-life model Jackie Malton explains that collaborating in the creation of Prime Suspect made her feel she had betrayed the police. Tony Garnett reveals that the help he got from the Police Service in setting up The Cops disappeared when they saw how the police were portrayed in the programmes, and Nigel McCrery tells how the police lost a simple and effective interrogation technique because criminals saw it used so often on screen in the police drama.